Columbine, Arapahoe, and almost Mountain Vista. What do these schools have in common? They’ve all been presented with violent threats to the student body and staff, some fulfilled, and others not. However, the first line of defense in all of these are the way that the students interact with each other, and the way the staff interacts with the students.
“We make it our goal to make every students feel connected to something,” said Chris Page, principal. The school offers programs that, according to administration, try to make sure that every student has a special place where they can feel at home–whether it be clubs, sports, or something else. However, these things aren’t always fail-safes for those who truly pose a threat. For That, administration meets as a group and discusses the probability of such a thing.
“Our officer was fully uniformed and the guards were armed,” said Page. “We realized that that wasn’t the best; we want students to look at them as friends, people there to
help [in times of need].”
However, when there’s no time for tactfulness or when an imminent threat is in place, there’s a protocol for these type of things. “We have a comprehensive threat assessment so we can distinguish those who mean harm from those who are just joking around,” Said Bruce Wright, assistant principal. “We discuss it with an assessment board,” Wright said on how to eliminate threats.
The school, according to administration, does its best to make sure the students feel safe, and able to reach out. “We want to make sure everyone feels a sense of belonging,” said Page.
Jack Orleans, Guest Reporter